Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Your Words Are True

Wow! It's been a rough few days! I ended last week traveling to Mississippi to be with my mom and dad for a surgery that would add years to my dad's life. I am amazed by modern medicine. After walking with my mom through two hip replacements, and my dad's aortic stint, I stand in awe of what God has provided to us through the wisdom of doctors and surgeons. Yet, with all of the miracles, I have had a rough couple of days...nothing major...just "bleh." I have had a nasty head cold and been tired and ready to recovery fully.

Tonight, as I showed up at church to lead a small group of 7th grade girls, the topic of conversation was joy. There is a vast difference between happiness and true, genuine joy. I was so honored and happy to spend time with these girls discussing where we find our true joy. Also, the verse of the day, today, on my cell phone was..."And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant." 2 Samuel 7:28

When I read the full chapter, this verse comes from a prayer of gratitude to God, from David, after God establishes His promise to him. David, after God revealed Himself and His promise of faithfulness, was thankful. I needed a healthy reminder. After knowing and studying David, I am comforted by His willingness to always praise, always thank, always seek His presence; even though he was a hot mess most of the time. I can identify to the hot mess portion of life, daily! :) I knew going into taking time each day to be thankful for 27 things and publishing it, that I would run into road blocks and challenges. Thanks be to God that my road blocks, my challenges, my head colds, and my stresses don't define the condition of my heart. My God supplies all my need and He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. So, I end today, energized to continue to be thankful! 

10,000 Reasons...July 31, 2013 (Day 4) I am thankful for…
1.     The rain, my garden is loving it, and my tomatoes are going to be so good. 
2.     The Vegetable CSA I am a part of for my delicious veggies, farm to table, each week.
3.     My gym family, where I am challenged everyday to be better.
4.     My 135 pound clean and jerk, a new personal record! Woot!
5.     My peaceful and cozy home.
6.     Reminders all around that God is good and always with me.
7.     The laughter of my children.
8.     Singing in the car with Ana to the top of my lungs and laughing the entire time.
9.     The smell of rain, followed by the beautiful sun…God’s splendor.
10. Music…it feeds my heart.
11. A healthier mom and dad.
12. Friends, who make me smile and give me strength everyday.
13. My friend running out of gas today. We had to go and fetch gas and laughed the entire time. I needed that and didn’t even realize how much.
14. Dreams and wishes….you are never too old to establish a course.
15. My Mister! I love his calls each day!
16. Getting ready for school to start. I am excited to meet my new students and seeing my old ones.
17. My church family.
18. My bible, it reminds me of God’s love for me and His promises to me.
19. My brother…his instagram photo’s make me chuckle!
20. Hitting golf balls with my kiddos at the driving range.
21. Learning a new skill…I hope to whip my husband in golf when he gets home.
22. Butter!! I love butter, oh…and bacon.
23. Fabric softener…it’s the little things.
24. My gym bag…it is always stocked with Spark and my knee wraps.
25. Never being satisfied with my current status. I always want to be a better wife, mom, athlete, musician, leader, etc.
26. The memories of my grandparents…they bring a smile and a tear every time.
27. The upcoming birth of Cassie and Charlie’s baby. Come quickly, baby Mac!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When my Heart is Overwhelmed

My 10,000 Reasons…July 25, 2013 (Day 3)

Today was the day my family has been waiting for, praying for, and concerned about for several years now. My dad was diagnosed with an aortic abdominal aneurism 2- 3 years ago. Doctors told us there was nothing they could do because it was so small at the time. But, every few months they looked at it, checked it, watched it, waiting for it to rear it’s ugly head. Well, a few months ago, doctors decided that the aneurism was at a size that my dad had the “perfect window” of opportunity. This thorn in his side (or abdomen), so to speak, had given him a chance to remove it without harm. Now, those of us who are familiar with this sort of condition realize that very few people get to catch one of those before it is fatal. Well, today was the day I got to celebrate the removal of that “thorn” that I thought of everyday…my prayers were weird. Do you pray for healing or for it to grow so doctors can take it out? Well, both happened today. The aneurism is gone and my dad is healed at the hand of God, wonderful physicians, and a nursing staff that save lives everyday. I now, get to celebrate years with my dad…laughing and celebrating.

I’m challenged! Isn’t that what we are called to do…chosen to do? Give encouragement to those who have thorns in the mind, the heart, the soul? How many times do we run into people that need a “removal of the thorn” that comes in a word of encouragement, a warm smile, a kind word. I am grateful that my dad will be around for years to come. And, I also want to be the avenue for people to be around and live in joy for years to come. God, use me to bring a smile or encouragement to someone in need. I want to be an extension of God’s love and grace to others. God help me not to be so consumed with my own thorns that I neglect to be a light in the darkness of some people’s lives. It could be a co-worker, a friend, a stranger, a waitress, a student, a passerby. What I am realizing is…it’s worth it to look for ways to be joy in someone’s day! I am certainly thankful when I experience joy from someone who doesn’t even know that their words or actions are perfectly seasoned with God’s grace for me in the moment. God, help me be more! More love and more kindness. It’s His kindness that draws us near. His character is kindness, joy, peace, love, compassion, self-control, faithfulness, gentleness, patience. Thank you Lord for dealing with me from Your character and not my short-comings and please help me be that for others.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

My 27 reasons today…
1.     A safe travel to Mississippi to be with my mom and dad today, after his surgery.
2.     For tomorrow, when he will come home and I can serve him.
3.     For children that will be joyful in a hospital room celebrating their Dawbi!
4.     For a successful surgery that will add years to my dad’s life.
5.     For a mom, that is gracious and kind, even when frightened.
6.     For God’s voice in my heart when I feel hopeless.
7.     For God’s word, that is a light to my path and lamp to my feet.
8.     For my subway sandwich….when I was starving.
9.     For my Darla, Tosha, Christina, Mishelle, and Lori, who texted me all day and brought encouragement.
10. For my Spark, that kept me alert when I was tired.
11. For my children’s laughter!
12. For the phone call from The Mister, that brought a smile to my face.
13. For Christina, she shows me perseverance everyday.
14. For the joy of the Lord that is my strength.
15. For challenges in life that make us stronger at the end of the day.
16. For rest stops along the way to Mississippi to stretch my legs and enjoy the beautiful sun.
17. For worship, that keeps my heart joyful.
18. For 2 scoops of ice cream that my daughter enjoyed today.
19. For nurses, that made my dad comfortable.
20. For a restful night’s sleep for my mom and dad.
21. For my sweet Belle, my tiny dog that barks like a Doberman to show her love for us.
22. For my mom’s vegetable soup…it smells amazing.
23. For my husband’s job that allows me to be home with my kiddos.
24. For my son’s non-stop talking.
25. For comfy clothes.
26. That God is faithful even when I am not!
27. For my Dad! He will be around, making us laugh, beating us in poker, and being a light to me and my family for years to come! Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things

My 10,000 Reasons…July 24, 2013 (Day 2)

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

I was amazed today by my change in perspective simply by being thankful. Instead of sitting down to compile my list at one time, I went threw my day and randomly made notes as the day rocked on. It really surprised me that my ability to choose gratitude completely overtook my desire to whine and complain. Now, this is no easy task. We all get stressed with jobs, finances, family, our health and the health of our loved ones…the list goes on and on. My day wasn’t perfect, but the difference…my choice to see differently…my choice to be thankful!

1.     I am thankful for Spark (energy is awesome).
2.     I am thankful for coffee…the smell, the taste, the coziness.
3.     I am thankful for my quiet house this morning to read and pray.
4.     I am thankful for the workout of the day (WOD).
5.     I am thankful for my coach that pushes me. I love that I set myself up for doing a workout at 95#, and he says, "Go 115#," and I can! Smiles, smiles and more smiles! 
6.     I am thankful for meal replacement shakes with a half of a banana. Perfect for after a workout.  
7.     I am thankful that my kids are home from their friends’ house and that they are laughing.
8.     I am thankful for ponytail holders.
9.     I am thankful for my comfy bed.
10. I am thankful that I have a car so I can travel to Mississippi for Dad’s surgery.
11. I am thankful that Dad’s surgery is early so he doesn't have to worry about a diabetic episode.
12. I am thankful for my life group. They accept me. They speak truth to me, and make me laugh  everyday.  I love days when there’s a group text going on.
13. I am thankful for my flip flops.
14. I am thankful for the phone call from The Mister, this evening.
15. I am thankful for that person who said the right thing at the right time today, to challenge me and make me think about opportunities all around us, everyday.
16. I am thankful for the conversations that Marc Joseph and I have after youth on Wednesday nights.
17. I am thankful for my friends, Charlie and Cassie, expecting their first child. I can't wait to meet baby Mac.
18. I am thankful for late night takeout.
19. I am thankful for allergy medication.
20. I am thankful for bedtime prayers with my children.
21. I am thankful for the Crossfit Games. Seriously, I love this stuff!!
22. I am thankful that my God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory. I don’t have to be alarmed or stress about the cares of life.
23. I am thankful that when my heart is overwhelmed, I can pray and worship.
24. I am thankful for friends that are smarter than me.
25. I am thankful that my children are healthy and strong.
26. I am thankful for my friends in Cambodia who rescue and care for children that need hope in a hopeless situation.
27. I am thankful for sore muscles. It means I worked hard today and I will sleep well tonight!

Be Thankful Everday!

I was so encouraged and inspired by a blog I read today. She based her blog on the song "10,000 Reasons," by Matt Redmond. (I will post a link to her blog below). I will choose thankfulness. Will you be thankful too? How different our life is when we choose thankfulness over complaining. This is a discipline for sure, but oh the rewards. We all have so much to be thankful for and often times days go by and we fail to see the good. Why is it that we find it so easy to focus on the down and out parts of our life. How much light would be shown to others each day by simply being thankful. I am overwhelmed by this girl's story and the encouragement I found by reading each word. My journey starts today. I am thankful, above all else. Won't you be, as well?

My 10,000 Reasons….July 23, 2013 (Day 1)

1.     I am thankful for Jesus, who knows me and all of my failures and struggles and chooses me anyway.
2.     I am thankful for my husband, Marc. Our 17 years have been both wonderful and hard. But everyday I am thankful for my Mister.
3.     I am thankful for Marc Joseph, the coolest 14 year old I know. He is strong, determined and will have an expensive car one day, haha!
4.     I am thankful for my beautiful Ana, who makes me belly laugh and smile everyday.
5.     I am thankful for my parents, who sacrificed so we could always have more than we needed or deserved.
6.     I am thankful for my in-laws who brought my precious Marc into my life.
7.     I am thankful for Marc’s job. He provides so much for us and he is a hard worker and devoted father.
8.     I am thankful for my brother, who also makes me laugh. Ana must get that from him.
9.     I am thankful for my sisters-in-law, who have become my sisters in every way.
10. I am thankful for all my nieces and nephews. I have a ton and they are awesome!
11. I am thankful for Darla, my best friend for over 20 years and still to this day can text me and bring a smile, bring hope, and bring joy in every way to my soul. 
12. I am thankful for Christina, who has become one of my best friends, as well. She makes my heart smile everyday.
13. I am thankful Christina lives with us. She has become a lifeline for Marc Joseph and Ana.
14. I am thankful for Tosha, who came along in my life when I was in such a dark place. Her friendship helped bring me to a new place. She still challenges me everyday.
15. I am thankful for Dwayne, who is still like my big brother. I would go to any country with him to share Jesus’ love.(Thanks for pushing that Tuk Tuk in our time of need, hee hee!)
16. I am thankful for the final four. Those girls are my soul.
17. I am thankful for my patio on any night. 
18. I am thankful that my dad’s surgery this week that will add years to his life.
19. I am thankful for music! My soul finds rest in the perfect song.
20. I am thankful that I can set my thermostat on 65 degrees everynight and freeze out by family, but it is so glorious.
21. I am thankful for my job of tutoring homeschool kids, even when I feel overwhelmed.
22. I am thankful for my church and the opportunity to be on the worship team.
23. I am thankful to be leading 7th grade girls to have a passion for Jesus.
24. I am thankful for grace….so much grace afforded to me in my life.
25. I am thankful for showers after grueling workouts.
26. I am thankful for my IMA family; friends I wouldn’t know were it not for crossfit.
27. I am thankful for this time of year when it’s the CrossFit games!! 

Check out this will inspire you to be thankful too.